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My First Job

By , North Collins, NY

It was the beginning of summer vacation and I was very happy that I have been hired to work at the crowded dog kennel across from my home. I was very excited and quite nervous as I trotted down the driveway seeing my boss on the roof.


“G’Morning Tyler” he said to me as I knew it was not going to be. I knew because I was terrified of heights and going up on that roof would make me sweat through my shirt. Not because of the blistering heat, but by the sheer panic the heights brought me. My mom even told me not to do anything that would make me feel uncomfortable. Going on the roof would definitely challenge my mom’s advice.


“H-Hello” I responded, trying to not let my fright show.
“Ready to start working”
“Sure”
“How about you come up here and help me nail the plywood to the trusses”
“A-Alright”
“What’s the matter?” Dan asked me, sensing my discomfort.
“I…” I began to say with a slight hesitation, “I’m afraid of heights”


My boss gave a chuckle, and told me that I would have no problem as long as I don’t fall like his nephew Justin, who was not there at the moment. At first I thought he was joking. Then he told me that Justin tumbled off one of the trusses and fell on his neck. Luckily, he turned out to be alright. Through all the events that happened in the last ten minutes, I knew it was going to be a long summer and a time of adaptation.


As the summer went on, I continued to climb up and down that fragile ladder that had gone through years of previous abuse. I had to keep retrieving my water bottle whenever it rolled off the roof and also had to fetch more nails at my boss’s command. To my amazement, my ludicrous fear of going on top of a roof started to die away faster than the summer sky that afternoon.


The next day there was a new reason to dislike being on the roof. It was the day we were able to add the shingles to the addition of the building. The day was only at dawn with temperatures already in the high eighties. It would be one of the longest days that I worked with nearly twelve hours of nailing shingles to the roof with no breaks.


In the afternoon, I worked with Justin while the sun blazed down upon us in the one hundred plus degree weather. We took a break and glanced up at the sky to see one lonely cloud that looked only big enough to cover the sun. To our disappointment, it didn't. The lone cloud missed the sun by what seemed like inches to us. We continued to work carefully, knowing that when we touched the shingles it would burn.


By eight o’clock I was able to return to my home. I joked with my mom telling her I got a little tan.


“You got more than a tan!”


“Yeah,” I said, knowing that the only thing stopping me from going up on a roof was the sizzling heat of the summer sun.




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